Title: Closer to Fine
Rating:
T or PG-13
Pairing (Implied): Nikolas Cassadine/Elizabeth Webber
Timeline:
Set sometime after Lucky's post-carnival proposal.
Author's Note:
So I hadn't watched GH in ages, and I was (probably always be) a Liason fan. But I like to think I can see the possibility in different pairings, so when I saw some of Nikolas/Elizabeth's recent clips on YouTube, I was thrilled by their chemistry. They're old friends seeing each other through new eyes; I like that. :)

This is just a bit of Elizabeth introspection.

Thanks for reading, and if you leave feedback, thanks for that as well.

***

Closer to Fine

Elizabeth doesn't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for herself -- she can't; she's got two boys depending on her to care for them, guide them, love them. They're in the world because of her choices, not theirs, and as a mother she owes them whatever they need.

Sometimes what they need comes at the expense of what she needs. She wants to believe they always come first, but she knows that's not true. Cam and Jake fill her life in ways she never anticipated before they existed. Their wet kisses and little-boy smiles make up for every extra shift she's worked at the hospital, every small indulgence she's foregone because it would be too expensive.

And yet when another day is over, and her boys have been fed and bathed and read Goodnight Moon for the fourth consecutive time in one night, she hears her solitary breaths echo throughout the house Jason bought for her. Two small boys, the loves of her life in their own particular way, lie asleep in their beds, and Elizabeth, Elizabeth feels...empty. Why, when she's loved and been loved by several men, is there no one to dry the dishes after she's washed them, or to pull her feet into his lap and rub her aching feet? Why is there no one to put her first?

How does she always end up alone?

She doesn't want to be alone. What she wants so much it scares her, is to be in Nikolas' arms. During the few scattered minutes she's spent there she forgot how hard it is to not have a partner, an equal, someone to lean on as she walks through life and tries to give her sons the kind of life they deserve. In his arms, in his kiss, in those dark, dark eyes that she's looked into for so many years and maybe never truly seen until recently -- there she found more than comfort. More than strength. More than desire, though it's his name she whispers in the dark, his hands she imagines on her body, when she touches herself.

She doesn't want to hurt anyone, least of all Lucky. As much as she still loves him, she's not in love with him anymore. The girl who loved Lucky Spencer with passion and desperation is gone; she's been gone a long, long time. The woman left in her place has too much to lose to keep making the same tired mistake again.

It's unexpected. It's wrong. It's a complication she's pretty sure she doesn't need.

But it and he are what she wants, and that's a truth she can no longer hide.

Tomorrow she'll tell Lucky she can't marry him. Tomorrow maybe a piece of her history will finally rest in the past. Tomorrow might be the start of something new -- complete honesty -- and that means more than whether she'll ever be in Nikolas' arms again.

It has to; she needs to be the kind of woman her sons deserve, the kind of woman she can face in the mirror without flinching.